A 17th consecutive UEFA Champions League campaign begins on Wednesday night for Manchester United. They host Turkish Champions, Galatasary at Old Trafford.
After recent success in Europes Elite Competition, reaching 3 finals in 4 years, Sir Alex Ferguson's side crashed out of Europe in the group stages. United played Galatasary four times in the early 1990's, and with the two games at Old Trafford, a total of 10 goals were produced. Galatasary have never beaten Manchester United, nor have they ever achieved victory on English soil.
Having rested star players such as Van Persie, Kagawa & Valencia, it is obvious Sir Alex is intent on not repeating last years campaign.
Manchester United have lost only two of their last 56 Champions League games at home, and have scored in each of their last 12 games.
Current form: After losing out to Everton on the first day of the season, Manchester United have edged there way past Fulham and Southampton respectively, before smashing four past Wigan last weekend. All high scoring games, United are scoring freely, as well as conceding. United currently sit second in The Barclays Premier League.
Current form: Galatasary are currently top of the table in The Turkish Super Lig, with ten point from four games. Similar to United they are scoring freely, with twelve goals this season already, however, shipping six, their defence seems unstable.
Team News: Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney are all out for this game and Ashley Young is a doubt. Patrice Evra has recovered from his knock which prevented him playing against Wigan, and should be in line to start, although debutant Alexander Buttner was very impressive.
Team News: Captain Tomas Ujfalusi is out after ligament damage will force him out for the next four to five months. Sabri Sarioglu is unavailable as well.
Probable Line Up: -
David De Gea – Patrice Evra – Nemanja Vidic – Rio Ferdinand – Rafael Da Silva – Michael Carrick – Paul Scholes – Luis Carlos Nani – Shinji Kagawa – Luis Antonio Valencia – Robin Van Persie
Player To Watch: - Robin Van Persie
Every United fan will be keeping their eyes on Robin Van Persie as he searches for his first European goal in a United Shirt. The injury he picked up on international duty was not serious, and having almost scored against Wigan with his first touch, the Dutchman looks ready. His movement was impressive in his brief cameo, and he will be more than up for the challenge of getting United off to a good campaign.
Probable Line Up: -
Muslera – Eboue – Cris – Kaya – Balta – Altintop – Melo – Inan – Colak – Elmander – Bulut
Galatasary have used either Cris, or Danny Noneku in-place of Ufajulsi to partner Kaya in central defence, while ex Arsenal star Emmanuel Eboue and Hanken Balta take up the full back roles. The Brazillian, Felipe Melo will play the holding role, sitting in front of the back four. Allowing Inan & co to bomb up forward.
Player To Watch: - Johan Elmander
Fans of The Barclays Premier League will remember Elmander from his time at Bolton Wanderers. A far from prolific striker in The Barlcays Premier League, Elmander did however manage to finish his last season with 11 goals in the league. Currently with Galatasary, Elmander scored 14 goals in total last season, helping his side win The Turkish Super Lig.
Manchester United & Galatasary have met a total of 4 times, with one win for United and the rest resulting in draws. There has been 10 goals scored between these two sides, so you can expect goals tonight in the fixture between these two Wednesday night.